Simeon's Jabari Parker Named Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year

Jabari Parker received the award Thursday during a surprise visit from Alonzo Mourning, a past winner

Thursday, Apr 12, 2012  |  Updated 9:44 PM CDT
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Simeon High School basketball star Jabari Parker discusses being just the 4th junior to ever be named the Gatorade National High School Basketball Player of the Year.

Simeon High School basketball star Jabari Parker discusses being just the 4th junior to ever be named the Gatorade National High School Basketball Player of the Year.

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Jabari Parker on Groce, Recruitment

Jabari Parker, the country's top-ranked junior from Simeon Career Academy, talks to NBC Chicago about Illinois' hiring of Coach John Groce and the pressure he feels about the possibility of joining the Illini.
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Jabari Parker of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy is the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Parker received the award Thursday during a surprise visit to the school from Alonzo Mourning, a past winner.

The former Miami Heat star showed up during Spanish class as Parker was presenting a project about Carnival. There was also a formal presentation in the auditorium.

"I'm so grateful for this," Parker said. "I don't deserve this award. This award truly belongs to these guys (teammates) over here."

The latest phenom from the school that produced Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, Parker averaged 20.4 points and 9.2 rebounds while leading Simeon to its third straight state championship as a junior. He plans to narrow his list to five college finalists this spring, and he said he's "very interested" in staying close to home and going to Illinois, although he hasn't talked to new coach John Groce just yet.

"I (want) to get a chance to know him better," Parker said.

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